Industrial Buyers Like The Personal Touch
Thomas Register's Industrial Purchasing Barometer survey (IPB) for July found that more than half of industrial buyers identify personal interaction, including direct sales and networking/referrals, as the most powerful marketing tool.
Asked to choose the marketing activity that has yielded the largest return on investment during the past year, respondents cited:
- Direct sales, 32%
- Networking/referrals, 21%
- Online outreach, 15%
- Trade shows, 11%
- Advertising, 9%
- Other, 7%
- Direct mail, 5%
"While there is growing recognition of the Internet's value, personal touch remains a vital component of doing business," said Monica Lavin, director of electronic commerce services for Thomas Register.
The survey also found 55% of industrial buyers saying they were increasing purchases this year compared with last. Decreased purchases were reported by 31%, while the remaining 14% said their purchasing level was about the same.
The survey was conducted randomly among Thomas Register's pool of 760,000 opt-in online users. Respondents came from the manufacturing and engineering industries, wholesale-distribution and government buyers. Thomas Register has a long history of monitoring the psyche of industrial buyers. Its monthly IPB Barometer tracks the changing attitudes and behavior of the industrial purchasing community.